Getting kielbasa from Martin Rosol’s in New Britain is an Easter tradition all over Connecticut and the lines started before dawn on Good Friday.
“I like it. It’s a tradition. I like the way it tastes,” said Denis Roy, of Bristol, who has been going to Rosol’s for 29 years.
Despite the rainy start to this year’s Good Friday, people were lined up at 5:30 a.m. for kielbasa.
Patrons said the sometimes hours-long line at the Polish market for the sausage that people throughout the northeast flock to get is worth the wait.
“I’m the only Italian in a Polish market … to buy my Easter kielbasa,” Donny DiLoreto, of Rocky Hill, said.
He waited in line near Teresa Gasztold, a Polish native now living in New Britain.
“I love it, this meat!” she said.
The plant manager, Ted Rosol, is the fourth generation of Rosols to run the business his great-grandfather started in 1928.
He said his staff begins prepping for the Easter rush six weeks in advance.
By the time the Easter season is over, they’ll sell about 125,000 pounds of fresh and smoked kielbasa.
“The recipe we use is still my great grandfather’s. We keep the recipe in a binder in the safe,” he said of the combination of meats and spices that make this kielbasa unique.
Rosol’s kielbasas have also made a name for themselves outside of Connecticut.
The market gets a boost in online orders from out-of-state customers during the Easter rush.
One customer at the store on Friday has been coming to Rosol’s from Long Island for three decades.
“My mom had stumbled across this place 30 years ago,” Kevin Davis, of Jamesport, New York, said.
Davis and friends together loaded a trailer with about 2,000 pounds of kielbasa to take back to friends and family in New York.
“Everybody loves it. It’s the best recipe around,” he said.
Linda Sanborn, of Southington, was another customer in line on Good Friday and said she and her ex-husband and their children come together to celebrate Easter each year, and Rosol’s kielbasa is always a part of their family tradition.
“We have the holidays together with our kids and everything. If I didn’t come, I’d have to hear, ‘Where’s the Easter kielbasa?’” she said.